Girl rescued from Sierra back in hospital | SierraSun.com

Girl rescued from Sierra back in hospital

Juliet Williams, Associated Press Writer

PARADISE ” A high school student who was one of four family members rescued after three bone-chilling nights stranded in the Northern California mountains was sent back to the hospital this morning after telling her family her feet hurt.

Alexis Dominguez, 15, was hospitalized for pain in her toes from minor frostbite. Michelle Nye, a spokeswoman for Feather River Hospital in Paradise, says Dominguez was admitted to the hospital shortly after 2 a.m.

Alexis, along with her father, Frederick Dominguez, 38, and her two brothers, Christopher, 18, and Joshua, 12, were snatched from the cold Wednesday afternoon after they were spotted by a helicopter crew.

Brian Clarke, fiance of the children’s mother, Lisa Sams, said doctors were running tests on the teenager and expected to release her after keeping her throughout the day.

“I’m praying that’s all,” he told The Associated Press.

During the three days the family was trapped in the snow, the girl lost one of her shoes. Her father said he took off his sweatshirt, tore up the fabric and wrapped it around Alexis’ feet, hoping to stave off frostbite.

The girl’s mother said Alexis’ toes had become discolored in recent days but that her father had kept rubbing her feet to try to keep them warm. On Wednesday, Sams said color had begun to return to Alexis’ toes while she was recovering in the hospital.

The family’s ordeal began Sunday after they went into the forest near the rural foothill town of Paradise, about 100 miles north Sacramento, to cut down a tree for Christmas.

After getting their tree, they became disoriented and began wandering through the woods. The next day, they found a small culvert carrying a creek beneath a dirt road and hunkered down as a storm dropped more than a foot of snow and left drifts up to 7 feet high.

They were spotted late Wednesday afternoon by a California Highway Patrol rescue helicopter that was making its last pass because another storm was beginning to cover the mountain range with yet more snow.

The family survived with only minor frostbite, doctors said Wednesday, despite spending three nights in the wet and cold with only jeans, sweatshirts, light jackets and sneakers. Temperatures plunged into the 20s during the days they were missing.